Release Date: Jul 17, 2012
Record label: Rainwater Records
Not too long ago, independent bands used to pine for contracts with major record labels. Nowadays, recording artists who used to be on major labels are going independent. This maneuvering toward independent status might’ve sounded like career suicide a decade ago, but that’s exactly what Brooklyn-based Citizen Cope has done since his fourth studio album, 2010’s The Rainwater LP.
Time after time, artists have struggled to shoehorn heady concepts into their albums, cramming in overly academic stories and heady musical themes in the name of establishing some kind of creative continuity. On One Lovely Day, however, Citizen Cope (aka Clarence Greenwood) manages to make something best described as a non-concept concept album, evoking the lazy, laid-back warmth of a summer day on track after track of his fifth album. Though not a concept album in the actual sense, the album's strong musical themes make it easy to imagine yourself listening to it on your front porch on a sweltering day, with songs like the titular track playing in the background as the neighborhood goes about its business in slow motion.
In the years since 2006’s Every Waking Moment, Citizen Cope (née Clarence Greenwood) has become the musical equivalent of Joss Whedon, each trading the creativity of their younger artistry for bloated audience pleasers. Cope’s newest release, One Lovely Day, like Whedon’s summer-blockbuster The Avengers, listens like an attempt to meet expectations, never attempting to push his abilities or the prevailing tastes of an already devoted fan base. In 2002, Cope soaked his audience with a flood of emotions on “Sideways” (recorded with Carlos Santana for his album, Shaman), and ten years later the tides of romantic adulation on “A Wonder” build from his established, charming writing aesthetic rather than some tangible encounter.